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Match Report

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Thanks to Ian Pluck for this report

Hot on the heels of Tuesday’s Berks & Bucks Cup Semi-Final win at Marlow, Tony Joyce named an unchanged starting XI to take on Daventry at Communications Park. Replacing Lee Grace and Shaun Owens on the subs bench were Daniel Pounds and Alex Little, graduates from the U18 team, who have signed Southern League forms.

On a cold afternoon with a biting wind blowing in the Ducks faces, it was the home side in the ascendancy from the start. Just 2 minutes in, a cross from the right flank was completely missed by the visiting defenders, finding its way to Andrew Musungu, but his shot at goal was bravely blocked by Tinashe Chabata. However, just 4 minutes later, the Ducks defence was found wanting again, this time Robbie Cundy making them pay with a firm header past Tahj Bell from a corner to open the scoring. 1-0 Daventry

While the thoughts of the visiting supporters could quite rightly have turned to worrying about how the game would develop, the players obviously had other ideas. Putting the early setback behind them they took just 4 minutes to equalise. Lewis Putman cut in off the right flank and squared the ball to Jake Bewley, whose first time shot was deflected behind for a corner; Jesse Waites delivered to the near post but home keeper Ben Heath punched it clear, as far as Greg Williams. His mis-hit shot was met at the far post by Stacey Field, who gleefully tapped in his 100th goal for the club. 1-1

Buoyed by the goal, the Ducks continued to press, with another run by Putman down the right; his cross was met by Field but his attempt was straight at keeper Heath. The second goal wasn’t long in coming though, with Greg Williams guiding a near post corner home to extend the lead in the 21st minute. 2-1 Aylesbury

Two minutes later and it could and perhaps should have been 3. Field picked up the ball wide on the right and delivered a raking crossfield pass to Jake Bewley, whose first time shot was just too close to Heath, who managed to deflect the ball away for a corner.

On 29 minutes, a Shane Wood long throw was flicked on at the near post and met by Bewley who made no mistake to score the third goal. 3-1 Aylesbury

The main attacking threat from the home side throughout the first half appeared to be the long throws of left back Ricky Hill, with the Ducks defence at times struggling to cope with his accurate delivery. The half finished with Bell having to make a smart save from Anthony O’Connor, as the home striker shot from the edge of the box; the keeper dived to his left and parried the ball away from goal, Chabata completing the clearance to maintain the Ducks lead.

Half-time: Daventry 1-3 Aylesbury

The second half started with the home side making a change, Hill being replaced by Ryan Zidyana. As in the first half, the home side were on the attack from the start. In the 49th minute Musungu found the run of Ben Farrell, whose first time shot just cleared the angle of post and bar. From the restart, the ball reached Steve Hatch in midfield; his ball through the middle found Putman, who outpaced Jamal Clarke, but fired over the bar from 15 yards.

In the 52nd minute, Joey Acheampong replaced the unfortunate Shane Wood, who appeared to have a recurrence of the injury which forced him off at half time in midweek. Acheampong almost made an immediate impact, as with his first touch of the ball he got a shot away, which was deflected narrowly wide for a corner.

Daventry weren’t down and out though; in the 57th minute youngster Miles Welch-Hayes picked the ball up on the half way line and advanced towards goal. With no challenge coming in, he was able to shoot from 25 yards, but his effort sailed over the bar. Two minutes later, O’Connor collected a ball over the top, beat Jack Wood as he cut inside, but drilled his shot across goal and narrowly wide. Just a couple of minutes later, Farrell exchanged passes with his skipper Ashley Deeney, but again could only sky his shot over the bar.

Lewis Putman was next to go close, as the game went from end to end. He was played in by Hatch and stung the keepers hands with a fierce shot, Field following in couldn’t quite reach the ball as it bounced away to safety. Field went close shortly after, as a corner from the impressive Waites was headed on first by Acheampong and then Hatch to the striker, but his effort found the side netting. The last opportunities fell to the home side, as first O’Connor failed to hit the target with a header from Deeney’s cross, followed shortly after by Farrell once again shooting from outside the box, this time his goal bound effort was cleared to safety by the head of Bill Morgan.

Shortly afterwards, the referee signalled the end of a hard fought match, and a welcome 3 points for the Ducks after a hard run of games against teams in the top 3. Daventry played their part in the match and while both teams had opportunities to score more, the result was a fair one in favour of the Ducks.